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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper
Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Woman jailed on arson charge

A woman who tried to stop Spokane firefighters from entering her burning home has been arrested and accused of setting it ablaze.

Lorri Lyn Serben, 38, was living at a home at 2607 E. Pacific Ave. on Sept. 23 when it caught fire.

When emergency crews arrived, Serben was uncooperative and told a responder, “No firefighters are getting into my … house,” court documents allege. Two doors to the home were barricaded, records say.

“It doesn’t seem like something a reasonable person would do,” said Spokane Fire Investigator Lt. Chris Phillips.

Serben was booked into the Spokane County Jail Nov. 4 on a count of first-degree arson. She declined to be interviewed in jail on Friday.

Phillips determined that ignitable liquids were used to set fires in two locations in the home, court documents say.

In an interview, Phillips said the fire destroyed much of the second floor of the home.

The residence belonged to Serben’s uncle, Robert Serben, until he died earlier this year.

Neighbor Robert Hutchisson said Lorri Serben had lived in the house a couple of months and was fixing it up when the fire happened. Serben told Hutchisson that the house belonged to her and a cousin and that she planned to buy the cousin’s half.

After the blaze, Serben stayed in a recreational vehicle behind the home. She told Hutchisson that she was upset that firefighters had broken windows and cut holes in the roof while fighting the blaze.